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New mall hopes to keep Sihanoukville tourism alive

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Sihanoukville’s Prince Mall opened last Thursday. Photo supplied

New mall hopes to keep Sihanoukville tourism alive

To tap into what was once a growing number of foreign tourists – particularly Chinese nationals – the Prince Huan You Real Estate Cambodia Group Co Ltd built its Prince Mall in Sihanoukville.

The 50,000sqm retail mall with five floors finally opened last Thursday and is home to many chain brands.

Prince Huan You CEO Zhang Rui Jun said called it the first mixed-use shopping center in Preah Sihanouk province and a response to the government’s rectangular strategy.

He said: “The soft launch has received support and attention from the administration of Preah Sihanouk province and relevant institutions. This is the first step and we strongly hope that the provincial administration as well as the Royal Government continue to pay attention and support the company’s operations.

“We provide top-notch quality products, goods and services, providing Preah Sihanouk province with a diverse shopping centre and we create job opportunities and tax revenue for the State.”

Preah Sihanouk deputy governot Kong Vitan said at the opening ceremony the mall is built under the open policy of Cambodia and China to foster good relations.

“Obviously we see a lot of international investors coming to Preah Sihanouk province to invest in industry, trade, construction, transportation and tourism. Progress in these areas has contributed to an increase in income and the economic growth of the province.

“This is an activity to show confidence in the government to contribute to economic growth, poverty reduction and employment for the people of Preah Sihanouk province,” Vitan said.

He said the government is also continuing its efforts to develop infrastructure, including the construction of city and coastal roads modernized for safety, environment and aesthetics.

The Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with 16 Chinese cities and provinces in June to promote investments in tourism, culture, education and sports.

The number of Chinese visiting Preah Sihanouk has dropped due to Covid-19 and a ban on online gambling that took effect in January. There are about 15,000 remaining in coastal provinces compared to two million just a year ago.

Provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun said the province has attracted nearly $4 billion in investment since 1994.

He said companies have developed 11,637ha of beaches and islands, with a total capital investment of $3.9 billion.

He said more than 60 companies plan to invest a total of $10.74 billion in tourism and hotels.

The tourism sector has generated more than 10,000 jobs this year on average.

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